Skip to comments.New PC for my Daughter (VANITY)
Posted on 11/04/2009 7:32:27 AM PST by American_Centurion
My daughter a HS Junior is doing really well in school. I am planning to buy her a new laptop for school. She currently has a Dell 13" XPS that has been ok, but the battery has been replaced twice, the CD/DVD will currently only play CDs and it is getting slower to start up.
So I start looking and I know she wants a Mac because they are cool, I however am not a Mac fan. Not that there is anything wrong with Mac, I have a slowly dying PowerMac G5 Dual that has a nice monitor I use for Aperture, but it is on its last legs. I also look for Windows 7 PCs, I use Lenovo Thinkpads for work and know they are rock solid, sturdy, and long lasting. My old T40 is 5 years old and still runs like it did when I first got it. I now work on a T400 and it is a great machine.
Here is what I found:
In addition to a 1 TB Time Machine.
I have all my pictures "Vaulted" on an external USB drive
In addition to a 1 TB Time Machine.
They did send me a new battery and a set of installation disks. Yet, when it came time to buy a new LT I couldn't pull the trigger for Lenovo. I bought two Toshibas and I really like them.
Napster purchases are DRM-free mp3 tracks, so iTunes or any other Mac media player will play them. Just drop the files onto iTunes, and it will make copies within its own database. Depending on the naming convention of the files and how well the artist information is put into the header by Napster, iTunes will also categorize them all properly.
Upgrade to Win7 64 Ultimate
MacBook Pro 15”
Both systems have:
4GB DDR3 SDRAM
Glossy 15” WLED Display
One thing that might factor into your thinking is whether or not you have a good idea on where your daughter is going to go to college — if you do, check with the school’s IT department to see if they have any specific recommendations. Probably not, as I bet most schools support all OSes by now, but you don’t want to get caught buying something that won’t work well in that environment.
The next major question is what, specifically, is the machine going to be used for? If it’s primarily word processing, browsing, and some image manipulation, then it matters little what OS you get — I’d suggest one of the better Linux distributions (Ubuntu, Fedora) and lower-end (beefed up with disk and RAM upgrades) hardware.
Honestly, for those basic applications, you can use OpenOffice, Firefox, and GIMP on Linux, Windows, or Mac, and they’re all free.
The only reason to get a Windows PC, in my opinion, is the availability of games (probably not what you want in a “school” machine) or if you have a “must-use” application that’s only available on Windows — in the latter case, you can always try something like VirtualBox and buy an OS license with the money you save on not buying a “Windows 7” machine.
For basic use, Linux is better. For advanced use, Mac is better (though sparser on applications).
Your hard drive may be getting ready to go belly up.
I have a Powerbook G4 that did that last year; spent more and more time proudly displaying the spinning Beach Ball of Boredom, and then started having boot problems. Then the hard drive finally croaked for good, but only right after I was able to copy it - I'm a lucky boy...
I had had Apple Care on it; although it had expired more than a year previously (the machine was more than four years old), they replaced the drive for free.
Runs like a champ, now, but since the old non-Intel chip won't run Snow Leopard, I'm currently waiting for my replacement 27" i7 iMac...
I have mine vaulted on a 750GB external USB, but the only computer I own that would be able to use them is the G5.
So will the G5 work with another HDD (compatible interface) I get from the store or do I have to pay an extra $500 to get one from an Apple store?
I have bought all my PC's and LT's from here. Usually free shipping and the best prices. And, no taxes if you don't live in CA. Read the reviews and check the specs.
I, personally, would stay away from Best Buy and the big stores. Consumer reports rates them fairly low compared to NewEgg.
Just be advised booting from the DVD will take a few long minutes. Graph the directory; I'll bet it is 20 - 30 % disorganized. Then Rebuild the directory; again this will take some time. When done reboot holding the option key down; switching to your disk drive.
I'm guessing DiskWarrior will bring back your machine
unless you have a hardware disk problem.
Just be advised booting from the DVD will take a few long minutes.
Graph the directory; I'll bet it is 20 - 30 % disorganized.
Then Rebuild the directory; again this will take some time.
When done reboot holding the option key down; switching to your disk drive.
The G4 runs happily with a non-Apple external hard drive, either connected directly via FireWire or USB, or through my backup Time Capsule wi-fi drive.
Y550 with the cheap Intel graphics or the NVIDIA?
I can second Newegg as a great source for any product they carry.
Why don’t you present the options to your daughter and ask her to justify the extra cost of the Mac?
I have a Mac at home and use PC’s at work, so I'm familiar with both.
The one advantage that the Macs have that the PC’s just can't touch is the “Genius Bar” at the Mac Stores. Now that being said, I've had to visit the Genius Bar way too many times for a variety of glitches and what not (And before anyone starts in on how my Mac must be under powered, no, it has 4MB Ram)
One disadvantage to the Mac will be the amount of programs available for use. There just aren't as many (Yes, I know about Boot-camp, but adding another layer makes the system slower and more expensive. If you want to use Windows, just get a Windows machine)
One HUGE advantage to a PC is that you can get a replacement policy for any problem whatsoever. We've used this twice with her HP. Once, a roommate spilled a Coke on it and the other time she fell asleep on her bed at the computer, jerked awake and the HP was on the floor in pieces. Both times HP was good about replacing - and she got an upgraded model for each replacement.
If I were buying another computer for ME, I'd be on the fence as to go a Mac or not. I do like the aluminum body and the back lit keyboard. But if I were buying another one for a college student, I wouldn't hesitate a moment - go with a PC that has a protection policy. Apple does not have one (unless they have added it in the last few weeks) and taking a laptop into college is the equivalent of taking it to a war zone. She may protect it at all times, but her roommate may not be so thoughtful.
Just my 2 cents - enjoy!
The “Spinning Pin Wheel of Death”
I’ve seen it way too many times on my 10 month old Mac. The Genius Bar can fix it up, but it’s not good when they know my name
GeForce G21M with 512MB Memory.
I’m no MAC fan. But, when you have a teenage daughter who is doing well, you have to support her when it only costs you a few hundred extra $$ to do so. Computers don’t matter. Confidence and self esteem do. Her request is not unreasonable, get her what she wants.
NVidia GeForce G210M with 512MB Memory.
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